Garry continued his series looking at Joseph and the parallels in his life with the life of Jesus. In Genesis 37, we see how Joseph’s brothers saw an opportunity to get rid of him. They hated him because of Jacob’s favouritism and because of the dreams which seemed to them outrageous and humiliating. We need to be careful not to reject truth just because it comes from people we don’t like or who don’t like us; truth is truth, no matter who the messenger may be, and in this case, Joseph’s dreams definitely came from God.

The deep-burning anger of Joseph’s brothers was not like the red-mist anger which sometimes causes us to do things we later regret. They were serious about their desire to kill their brother (as Reuben’s intervention indicates) – and in the same way, we see how Jesus was hated by many (see John 1:11, John 7:3-5, Matt 12:11-14, Mark 11:15-18). Both Joseph and Jesus were pursued by people who hated them, but the malicious, malevolent plans of other people were subverted by God’s merciful plan in both cases. Matt 16:21 indicates that Jesus knew His death was part of God’s salvation plan and Gen 50:20 reminds us that Joseph reached the same conclusion.

Jesus died for our sins because we could never, through our own goodness and effort, be good enough to reach God’s standard (see Is 59:1-2, Rom 6:23, Heb 9:14, Luke 18:9-14). God’s mercy and justice are both satisfied through the cross. Everybody can be saved, but we are required to call on God in order to be saved. Joseph was rejected and condemned by his own brothers and Jesus too was rejected and condemned, but through their suffering, God worked good. Both Joseph and Jesus were also sold for silver, and it is difficult for us to fathom the motives of both Joseph’s brothers and Judas in selling the life of a person, but we are aware ultimately that it was through the precious blood of Christ that we are redeemed. Human values so often can’t compare with the values and price God puts on human life.